STARRING: Ron Perlman, John Hurt, Selma Blair, Rupert Evans, Doug Jones, David Hyde Pierce, Jeffrey Tambor and Karel Roden
EARNED (Worldwide): $99.3m
A demon, raised from infancy after being conjured by and rescued from the Nazis, grows up to become a defender against the forces of darkness.
In the final days of World War II, the Nazis build a dimensional portal to free the Ogdru Jahad, monstrous entities in deep space, to use them to defeat the Allies. Rasputin and his disciples open the portal but the Allies kill them, with Rasputin being absorbed by the portal. The Allies discover an infant demon, with a right hand of stone, came through the portal and is dubbed Hellboy, with Professor Bloom adopting him. Sixty years later, FBI agent John Myers is transferred to the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (BPRD), where Hellboy must stop old faces from the past resurfacing.
Hellboy is one the comic book films where it wears its comic book heart on its sleeve, creating this fantastical world that the audience is sucked into, which is lead by a charismatic Ron Perlman as Hellboy. Perlman carries such swagger (despite being covered in makeup), chewing through the scenery as a cigar-chewing, smart ass detective…that just happens to be a giant demon-like figure and also delivering great comedic timing, as well as emotion. A large part of why the film works so well for me is for Perlman’s range as Hellboy. I didn’t really enjoy Ruper Evans character, John Myers, though I understand why he was there and in terms of the villains, I actually enjoyed seeing Kroenen more (from a visual standpoint of course) than Rasputin (yes, THAT Rasputin). Visually the film is great, from the cinematography down to the set design as well. Del Toro created a fantastic visual world that had us invested in Hellboy and his companions (Doug Jones with terrific body work as Abe Sapien and Selma Blair as paranormal ‘freak’ yet love interest as Liz Sherman, who can more than hold her own in a scrap), that took us to The Golden Army in the sequel. Part of me really, really wishes that we’ll get a third one. Maybe someday.
FAVOURITE SCENE: The funeral scene. From the way it’s shot, to Hellboy looking on from above, as he can’t join the rest down below.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘I wish I could do something about this. But I can’t. But I can promise you two things. One: I’ll always look this good. Two: I’ll never give up on you… ever.’ – Hellboy
DID YOU KNOW?: Doug Jones’s (Abe Sapien) voice was dubbed by David Hyde Pierce, but Pierce refused a credit, because he felt that Abe was entirely Doug’s creation and did not wish to detract from his performance.